5 Tips for Perfectly Wrapped Gifts

posted: 12/14/15
by: Blythe Copeland
gift wrapping ideas

A picture-perfect Christmas morning starts with a pile of gorgeously wrapped presents under the tree -- but if your efforts always result in uneven corners, spare bits of paper used to cover gaps, and so much tape your kids can't get the boxes open, try these tips for upping your wrapping game this year.

1. Don't leave it until the last minute

That pile of unwrapped gifts may look intimidating now, but after three glasses of eggnog at your aunt's Christmas Eve dinner, it is going to feel downright impossible. Wrap gifts as soon as you buy them, if you can -- this cuts down on what little snoops will be able to guess ahead of time, too -- or set aside some time each night in the days leading up to Christmas to wrap a few items at a time. You can go more slowly, perfect your technique, and enjoy the process -- plus maybe get a little extra sleep on Christmas Eve.

2. Choose your paper wisely

Since wrapping paper just ends up in the recycling bin on December 26, it doesn't feel like an item worth splurging on. But buying higher end papers can make your life easier: They often have grids on the back to help you measure and cut straight lines, and thicker, sturdier papers are easier to use without ripping or tearing. For a uniform look, choose a limited number of coordinating papers -- think two prints and a solid -- or wrap everything in brown kraft paper and decorate with twine, rubber ink stamps, or elegant name tags.

A photo posted by papersource (@papersource) on

3. Upgrade your tools

Scissors and tape will do the job, but if you want a Martha Stewart-quality wrapping job, then follow the lead of the domestic queen herself with an array of helpful tools . She suggest a T-square, quilting ruler, rotary cutter, and self-healing mat to create straight, exacting cuts on your paper, and double-sided tape for neater seams.

4. Consider the trimmings

Once you have your paper game down, it's time to consider the add-ons: Bows, ribbons, name tags, and the other little extras that can take a wrapped gift from boring to breathtaking. Shiny, store-bought bows will work, of course, but you can create more personal, memorable gifts with other options: name beads on string; clusters of Christmas balls; sparkling pipe cleaner snowflakes; intricate flowers made from paper and ribbon; or newsprint roses with sprigs of fresh pine.

If you are wrapping a gift for a child, this interactive gift idea from Lines Across will keep him or her entertained for hours.

5. Think outside the wrapped box

We mean this quite literally: Not every gift needs to -- or will -- come in an easy-to-wrap box, and trying to challenge yourself with awkwardly shaped items (especially if you wait until the last minute) will only add to your frustration. Give yourself a break: Choose tall, narrow bags designed for bottles of wine and spirits, or giant bike bags that hide the two-wheeler; build large items, like the dollhouse or the play kitchen, and slap a huge bow on them; and use tissue paper or cellophane with pretty gift bags to wrap weirdly designed clamshell containers, loose placemats, or tricky, unboxed dolls. Need more help? Try these videos from Slate and Hallmark for suggestions on making even the oddest-shaped package look professionally wrapped.